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Are you a succulent lover struggling to find the perfect plant for your low-light home? Look no further than these 27 low light succulents that thrive in dark. While many indoor plants require constant light, these succulents have lower light needs and can survive in areas with less sunshine.
Not only are they easy to grow and maintain, but they also thrive in dry soil. But what if you lack a sun-filled, north-facing window? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to a variety of low-light succulents that will add life and color to any space, no matter how dimly lit.
So, let’s dive in and discover the perfect low-light succulent for you!
What Are Low Light Succulents?
Generally, low light conditions for plants refer to spaces that rarely get direct sunlight for significant periods of the day. In as much as there are plants that can deal with full sun, several others like bright indirect light or sheltered conditions. If you want to grow low-light plants, it will help if you pick a spot with indirect or filtered light.
You can achieve this by positioning the plant beside a north-facing window or a room with sheer curtains. Please don’t place the houseplant in an area where it will be exposed to drafts or severe temperatures. If you’re growing them as houseplants, give them some artificial light, like grow lights.
Low-light succulents are among the most popular houseplants that can tolerate low-light conditions. They thrive best in areas that get bright indirect light and morning sun. But if you have chosen to put them on the dining table or a dark office shelf, you can support their lighting needs with grow lights.
Approximately succulent plants require up to 7 to 8 hours of daily sunlight. However, the low light varieties like a north-facing window and low light are present at shaded east-facing windows or plants far apart from an east-facing window.
Read on to find the most common low-light succulents that grow in the dark.
Most Common Low Light Succulents that Grow in Dark
There are over 10000 succulent plants all over the world. But the most common ones that can survive in low light include mistletoe cactus, kalanchoe, snake plant, burro’s tail, aloe vera, wax plant, holiday cacti, etc.
Let’s briefly highlight them below;
1. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
The first low-light succulent on our list is aloe vera. It is undoubtedly one of the most famous plants of the aloe genus. It can handle low light settings and tolerate low humidity since it likes dry air. This aloe specie is also one of the most common herbal plants.
Meanwhile, your aloe vera requires frequent watering to keep the soil drier. You can also position it on the south or west-facing window, and it will do best if given access to a full day of bright indirect sunlight.
2. Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)
If you want to add a little bit of low-light succulent to your indoor collections, consider adding the mistletoe cactus.
It is an epiphytic plant native to the tropical and South American regions. This plant does not have leaves but little, light green stems alongside trailing growth.
The mistletoe cactus does best in low to medium light for optimal growth. However, it cannot survive extremely bright light conditions but tolerate low light.
This plant will also require one hour of morning or evening sunlight or about 2 to 3 hours of indirect sunlight daily. Again, it will need thorough watering at least every 3 to 6 weeks and keep a steady temperature above 65°F and humidity above 50%.
3. African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)
African Milk Tree is another low-light succulent that looks like cactus, which is why it is also known as Cathedral Cactus, Candelabra Cactus, and Good Luck Cactus.
However, it is not a tree but a succulent, featuring triangular stems with ridges with thorns and teardrop-shaped leaves. You must beware, as its sap contains a toxic substance harmful to kids and pets.
The sap from this African milk tree can result in blisters, eye irritations, and convulsions if consumed.
Meanwhile, this cathedral cactus thrives best in indirect sunlight and partially shaded areas, but too much sun can burn the leaves. It also can’t survive extended periods of drought, and you can place it in any corner of your room.
Also, this perennial succulent can reach up to 6 to 9 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. You can water it at least 2 to 4 times every month or whenever the top inch of the soil feels dry. It is considered one of the best low-light succulents for indoor spaces.
4. Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is a low-light succulent native to the African region. It is the hardiest of every low-light succulent that can survive many conditions.
This plant has wide varieties, with some reaching about 4 feet tall and more compact varieties growing up to around a few inches tall.
The snake plant features long, flat, sword-like green leaves covered in several stripes and variegations depending on the type.
It requires minimal watering and low maintenance. However, this plant thrives in bright light but can survive low light conditions even though it will hardly grow as quickly as in bright light.
5. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Are you looking for a low-light, succulent houseplant for your indoor collections, don’t look beyond a jade plant.
It is a succulent plant with thick, woody stems and glossy green round-shaped leaves that can beautify any home and is believed to be a symbol of fortune to its owners, making it a trendy and favorite gift plant.
Native to South African regions, the jade plant is a low-maintenance plant that does best in bright indirect light but can survive low light and low water conditions. It is the perfect plant for beginner gardeners or owners with a tight schedule.
6. Zebra Plant (Haworthia attenuata)
Like most other succulents, the zebra plant is very easy to care for, and if you live in a low-light home, you have a low-light office, or even a garden, this plant is ideal.
It is a slow-growing plant that is very hardy and can survive many different growing conditions, including low-light spaces.
Native to South Africa, the zebra plant can tolerate drought and should only be watered whenever the soil is dry.
It is a small hardy plant that will survive for many years with minimal maintenance if given the proper care, making it one of the most beautiful and unique succulent additions to your collections.
7. Lace Aloe (Aloe aristata)
Lace aloe is one of the most popular aloe plants and the favorite of many gardeners, and with good reasons.
First, the mother plants make offsets you can divide, pot up, or share with neighbors. It is a perfect indoor plant for tighter spaces and can only grow to about 8 inches tall and 1 foot wide.
Lace aloe features thick, fleshy leaves that preserve water for extended periods; hence, you must water it a few times yearly. It requires well-draining potting soil like a specialized cacti mix.
Meanwhile, it will thrive in bright light but survive in low-light conditions. Your watering routine should be done to the soil only, and keep the rosette of leaves dry as required.
8. Bear’s Paw (Cotyledon tomentosa)
This succulent is called Bear Paws because of its striking resemblance to little bears’ paws. It also produces orange-red bell-shaped blooms in the active growing season. The plant can reach one foot tall if you grow it in pots.
Meanwhile, the bear paws will do well in partial sunlight or in an area that gets bright indirect sunlight but will not grow well in deep shades even though it is a low-light succulent. However, keeping it dry can survive the winters and will do best in a well-drained granular mix.
8. Kalanchoe Plant
If you love flowering succulents that will survive low light conditions, you mustn’t look beyond the kalanchoe plant. It is a famous flowering specie with upright growth nature and thick leaves covered with tiny hair.
However, the kalanchoe genus plants have different light needs. For instance, they require complete darkness to produce flower buds.
But once the kalanchoe plants flowers, it will require plenty of bright light to enable the flowers to flourish.
In other words, the plant’s light needs differ from the bloom-inducing light requirements. This plant can grow annually or in garden beds, borders, and pots indoors or outdoors. Water every 2 to 3 weeks with 60-70°F temperatures.
10. Tiger Aloe (Gonialoe variegata)
Tiger aloe is a shorter low-light succulent that can only reach about 6 to 12 inches tall. It can work perfectly on tabletops and in succulent designs.
Tiger aloe prefers partial shade but will not tolerate full shade, yet growth may impede. It requires thorough watering, but only when the substrate is dry, and thrives in low temperatures of 55°F (12°C).
11. Chandelier Plant (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Also known as Florist Kalanchoe, the chandelier plant is related to the jade plant, as they both feature gorgeous scallop-shaped leaves.
Thanks to its easy-to-care nature, exceptional foliage, and long-blooming flowers, it is the favorite amongst many plant enthusiasts. The plant is available in various colors in garden stores, including pink, red, yellow, and white shades.
Chandelier plants will do well in any condition, especially with the correct watering, but they will thrive best in a slightly shaded spot that receives some sunlight. It is a perennial succulent that can reach up to 6 to 18 inches tall and wide.
12. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi)
Christmas cactus is one of the most popular holiday plants to add to your holiday vibe. It is often mistaken for other succulents, even if it is the most famous.
Native to the tropical areas of Brazil, the Christmas cactus can do well outdoors in the summer before you can move it indoors for the winter season.
It does best in partial shade, as excessive sunlight can fade its bright colors, and it is a hardy plant that usually produces bright flowers. The holiday cactus is a perennial succulent that can only reach about 6 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide.
13. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
If you are looking for a low-light succulent, the ZZ plant is perfect, as it is one of the best succulent plants for low-light conditions.
Native to Africa, this specie can survive extended periods of drought. It has a root mechanism that is good at preserving water; hence doesn’t need regular watering.
The ZZ plant can tolerate wide soil varieties but do best in well-drained soil. It can grow as tall as 2 feet and features long, glossy green leaves.
Although it will hardly bloom indoors, the ZZ plant will grow little white blooms that are not too revealing. It is an easy-maintenance plant, making it a perfect indoor plant.
14. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
Also referred to as Donkey’s Tail, the burro’s tail is a unique houseplant featuring leaves that hang in a tail-like appearance.
It also grows little, oval-shaped leaves that join to create clusters. It also has tiny light green beads. Burro’s tail thrives in partial light indoors, but direct sunlight will scorch its leaves.
Donkey’s tail, as sometimes called, possesses a unique set of leaves and will enjoy at least 4 hours of bright sunlight daily; anything above will cause the plant serious harm.
Burro’s tail requires frequent watering at least once a week, temperatures between 50-60°F, and a humidity of 60-80%. You can also support their indoor low-light conditions with grow lights.
15. Fox Tail Agave (Agave attenuata)
Fox Tail Agave has other names like Lion’s Tail or Swan’s Neck, thanks to its unique inflorescences or flowers.
It is a low-light succulent that can grow in several conditions, including warm and well-lit areas, but it won’t survive an extremely dark spot. It requires thorough watering when the topsoil is dry but will not like under-watering or overwatering.
16. Wax Plant (Hoya spp.)
The wax plant is a unique semi-succulent that will feel your indoor space with its beautiful flowers and stunning fragrance, although you can’t rely on them to bloom continuously.
It tends to produce clusters of waxy, star-shaped blooms that grow along the stems, which is why it is commonly called the Wax Plant. It also produces long vines with medium-green leaves.
This hoya specie is a perfect trailing plant, which you can train up and over a window. It is an epiphytic plant in its natural environment, as its roots cling to tree branches rather than grow in soil and has vines that ramble through the tree branches.
Meanwhile, the wax plant is easy to care for, as it does best in moderate watering (don’t overwater to avoid causing root rot).
Again, use potting soil with pine park, perlite, and peat to imitate its epiphytic environment. You can choose from various cultivars to add color to your indoor collections.
17. Ox Tongue Plant (Gasteria obliqua)
Photo by Montréalais via Wikimedia
It is called the Ox Tongue Plant thanks to its coarse leaves that give it a tongue look. It grows dark green leaves that have tiny speckles of white dots.
It is a succulent plant that thrives best in abundant sunlight even though it will tolerate low light conditions as long as other vital needs are sorted out.
However, it would be best not to allow it to receive the harshest mid-day sunlight to avoid sunburn and other related damages.
The most exciting feature of the Ox Tongue plant is that it doesn’t need much light to grow and makes sure it obtains the correct temperature of about 60-80°F and 40% humidity levels. There would be little or no need for growing light with adequate light.
18. Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)
Photo by Steven Severinghaus via Flickr
Woodland stonecrops are one of the most popular low-light sedum species that can survive long dry spells. Once it matures, it can survive with little or no fertilizer in dusty, rocky soil.
However, even though it will do well in the shade, it can tolerate full sunlight, but not for extended periods.
You must water thoroughly and regularly during the growth phase but when the growing medium is dry enough to avoid excessive watering.
Also, it would be best to use a pot with well-drainage holes to avoid waterlogging that can result in root rot or possible death of the plant.
19. Kiwi Aeonium (Aeonium kiwi)
Kiwi Aeonium is a drought-tolerant plant that can thrive in low-light spots in a warm climate. It features robust, spoon-like, puffed leaves in a rosette pattern with yellow, green, and red around their tips.
This plant blooms once in its entire lifespan since it is monocarpic. However, in cold climates, it requires partial shade and watering when the soil is dry.
20. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Ponytail Palm is also called Elephant Foot palm thanks to its trunks that look like elephant’s feet, which it uses to preserve water. It is one of the best houseplants to grow and thrive in full or partial sun. However, it will survive shade conditions.
But the light condition for the ponytail palm is bright indirect light. It is a slow-growing plant; hence it won’t require repotting soon. Again, don’t fertilize frequently or too heavily; apply balanced liquid fertilizer about 2 to 3 times in the growing season.
21. Devil’s Backbone (Euphorbia tithymaloides)
Also known as Buckthorn, Zigzag plant, Jew’s slipper, Slipper plan, Redbird flower, Christmas candle, and Red slipper spurge, the devil’s backbone is a low-light succulent that can survive full shade. However, it will do best in bright indirect sunlight.
If you are growing outdoors, the devil’s backbone can grow as tall as 8 feet, requiring pruning if possible.
Make sure you rotate the plant occasionally and plant it in dry soil, even though it will tolerate excessive watering errors. Meanwhile, this plant has toxic sap; hence, you should carefully handle it.
22. String Of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
If you are looking for a plant that can survive the low light conditions of your room or office, you can trust a string of pearls. It features unusual oval-shaped leaves that add color and beauty to your indoor space. Its long, tiny stems house many small round balls-like leaves.
String of pearls is perfect as hanging plants indoors, even without disturbing yourself with the low light situations in your apartment. But avoid keeping them in sunlight for over 8 hours, as it will damage the plants.
However, they will thrive best in a few hours of morning light and 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. They will need a temperature of 60-70°F and 50% humidity.
23. String Of Bananas (Senecio radicans)
String of bananas is a succulent that features a unique set of banana-shaped leaves, and this unique foliage makes it a popular houseplant amongst plant enthusiasts.
Even though the plant will survive in low light conditions, the leaves may slowly deviate from their stunning shape. But extended periods of direct sunlight can damage the plant.
Therefore, you must position it in indirect bright sunlight for up to 6 hours daily for optimal growth.
Watering should be done at least every 2 to 3 weeks, providing a tropical temperature and humidity of around 50 to 60%. If you’re living in low-light areas, you can use artificial grow lights to enhance the growth of this incredible plant.
24. Echeveria Plant (Echeveria spp.)
Echeveria is a succulent variety featuring gorgeous leaves arranged in a rosette shape. If you must keep this plant beautiful, there’s a need to provide it with good lighting conditions.
Indoors, the plant can deal with low-light areas. However, it will produce a stunning giant bloom stalk, given ample lighting.
Water the Echeveria plant at least once in 7 to 10 days during spring and summer, and provide it with temperature and humidity levels of about 40-90°Fand 40-60%, respectively.
During the winter, when there is a decrease in temperature and scarcity of light, you can adopt artificial grow lights to satisfy its light requirements.
25. Happy Bean (Peperomia ferreyrae)
Happy bean, as commonly called, is a succulent featuring leaves that resemble beans, which is where the name originates. Its long leaves are lime green colored, and the plant can tolerate different light conditions, including low light, bright light, and partial shade.
However, the happy bean will not survive excessive direct sunlight, as it can damage the plant’s foliage. But it will thrive in 1 to 2 hours of morning light. It requires weekly watering and temperatures of about 65-75°F and 40-50% humidity.
Since it does best in adequate sunlight, growing it under artificial light is not advisable.
26. Windowpane Plant (Haworthia turgida)
Windowplane plant is another perfect succulent if you are looking for an artificial vibe, thanks to its glossy, translucent leaves. Even though these plants may hardly survive complete darkness, they tolerate low light conditions. But excessive light can cause damage to its leaves.
However, placing it in good indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours daily is the best option. It requires infrequent watering when the soil is dry to the touch.
It will do well in temperature and humidity of about 50-75°F and 35-45%, respectively. You can support its low-light areas with artificial lights.
27. Crown Of Thorns (Euphorbia milli)
It may be the last on our list but it is among the most popular low-light succulents ever. It is one of the most favorite houseplants among plant enthusiasts, thanks to its gorgeous flowers that look like the Crown of Thorns Jesus wore, where its name originates.
It features stunning thick green leaves that will make you buy it at all costs.
Because of its pretty flowers, the Crown of Thorns needs about 3 hours of full sun. It will also survive in low light but rarely produce beautiful flowers like when it gets sun.
However, excessive light can harm the leaves. Always allow the top 50% of the potting mix to dry out entirely before re-watering, and give them about 65-75°F temperature and low humidity.
If you are looking for succulent plants that can survive the low light conditions of your home, office, or garden, you can pick from any of these stunning plants.
However, just because they are low light plants doesn’t mean they will do well in full dark conditions, so grow lights are available to enhance lighting conditions for optimal growth.